Wednesday, January 23, 2019 01:31

Digital Reminiscence


The Lovely Bones

I was scanning through my most recent college alumni newsletter when I came across the news that someone with whom I lived in a dorm my freshman year (in a very small house of a couple dozen people) had died about 3 months ago. Reading the news stunned me…not that I had any contact with him since college ended but he was only a year older than I and really was a totally cool guy. I certainly wanted to find out as much as possible about what transpired, so I went to Google.

In Google, I found his obituary which, combined with a few other professional references, contained a summation of his business career which appeared to have been quite successful. It mentioned that he was survived by both his parents, three siblings, three children & a fiancée which make his early passing all the more horrific. In addition, his obituary linked to a guestbook which had a dozen entries. One entry was from the guy who was his roommate that year…a guy who I was pretty close to for three of my four college years.

But, with what I was seeing, I could get very little sense of what my former college friend was about. The picture included in his obituary made him appear to look about 10 years older than he actually was…which was the only personal observation I could pull out of the information presented to me. He did have a LinkedIn profile of which I was a 3rd level connection (I think I have tens of millions of 3rd level connections in LinkedIn).

I then found his Facebook page which would have been undiscoverable had I not remembered what he looked like. For his Facebook profile, he choose a group (I’m guessing family picture) from seemingly back in the time when I knew him or not much later…which struck me as a little odd and he looked somewhat awkward in it (an adjective I absolutely wouldn’t have used to describe him). He had several dozen Facebook friends…most of them appeared to be family and I did not recognize the names of any mutual friends from college. He only “Liked” three things…and oddly enough, one of the them was the band Okkervil River.

Earlier this year, I signed up for a Jack Daniels “promo” here in Portland where I would get free tickets to see a band TBD. Okkervil River was the band…I had never heard of them but when I listened them on Rhapsody and really dug their sound. I drove all the way Downtown to the Crystal Ballroom but left my ID at home which prevented me from getting in. I went back home missed the show. I later learned that all attendees got 4 free drink tickets.

So, when Okkervil River came back to Portland to play with Bobby Bare Jr. just a couple months ago, I bought a ticket. However, it was a late curtain and at the last minute, I decided I didn’t want to do a 1-2 AM night, so I gave the ticket to my friend Syzlak.

I will make darned sure to see Okkervil next time they come back to town.

Rest In Peace buddy.

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